Muhammad bin Nayif

The early news out of Saudi Arabia is that Muhammad bin Nayif, the Deputy Interior Minister, escaped an assassination attempt by a suicide bomber with only light injuries. It is unclear yet who is responsible, but I have my suspects. Last week in a talk I argued that al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was looking to carry out an attack either in Saudi Arabia or one of the other Gulf states as a way of squaring their action with their rhetoric (more on this later, as the article is only half finished). Both myself and others suggested that Ramadan could be a particular dangerous time given the history of the organization.

It is a bit premature to lay this at the feet of al-Qaeda, Nasir al-Wahayshi, Said al-Shihri and Qasim al-Raymi but all early signs point to this being the feared (or at least one of the feared) attacks. The forums are already abuzz with the news as well as with video of al-Arabiyya showing Muhammad meeting with King Abdullah.

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Image source: CNSA
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